Equestrian Places Eight on Academic All-Big 12 First Team

Senior Alayna Warner was one of eight Wildcats named to the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 first team.

March 28, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Eight Kansas State equestrian student-athletes were named to the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 team first team, in an announcement by the conference office on Wednesday. K-State was the only program in the conference to place all qualifying athletes on the first team this season, with all eight Wildcat riders maintaining a 3.20 or better GPA during the 2011-12 season.

Seniors Kate Hennessey and Alayna Warner, junior  Larissa Laffey and sophomores Jacquelyn Bogstad, Chayna DeNicoloJordan Cox, Rachel Wetherell and Rachel Webster all garnered academic honors from the Big 12.

Forty-seven of the 52 members in the league earned first team accolades, while the second team is comprised of five individuals. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests.

Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

A family studies and human services major from Yorkville, Ill., Hennessey earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the past three seasons. She has amassed a record of 2-7 to go along with one match-MVP award for the 2011-12 season.

Warner, who is majoring in animal sciences and Industry, also notched a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the past three years. The Lebanon, Kan., native currently holds a record of 4-7 for 2011-12.

Laffey, a chemical engineering major, has been one of the Hunt Seat’s most consistent riders this season, often competing in Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences in the same dual. The Byfield, Mass., native is one of two Wildcat riders to card 10 wins this season. Like Hennessey and Warner, Laffey was on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the past three years.

An animal science and industry major from Woodland Hills, Calif., Bogstad notched a spot on the 2010-11 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll last season as a freshman.  

Hailing from St. Charles, Ill., DeNicolo has been one of the most steady riders for the Wildcat western team this season. A psychology major, DeNicolo earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissionor's Honor Roll in her first season at K-State.

A Trenton, N.C., native and Animal Sciences and Industry major, Cox has carded six wins during the 2011-12 season, including one match-MVP award. Cox was named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the 2010 -11 year.

Wetherell, who was named NCEA Western Rider of the Month in January, currently has five wins on the year. A product of Linn Grove, Iowa, Wetherell was named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll last year and is currently majoring in business administration.  

A kinesiology major, Webster has won six matches this year. Like her aforementioned sophomore teammates, the native of Mechanicsville, Va., garnered a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for two seasons.

TimberCreek Stables will play host to this year’s Big 12 Equestrian Championship, Friday and Saturday in Manhattan. Admission for both days of the event is free and open to the public. Opening ceremonies will begin on Friday at 9:30 a.m., with Saturday’s consolation and championship matches beginning at 10 a.m.

This year’s event marks the fourth time the conference has held an equestrian championship, with this season being the first year that equestrian is a recognized Big 12 sport. If you are unable make it to TimberCreek Stables, K-State Gameday will be available online at KStateHD.TV beginning at 11 a.m., on Friday. Updates will be available throughout the day on the official Twitter accounts of K-State athletics (@kstatesports and @kstate_gameday) and the Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference).